I don’t live in the same country as my parents and little sister – I’m in Canada for university. They’re in the US (for now, anyway).
My sister was born in the US (the same city she lives in right now) – she was there for all of 6 months before we were transferred to Japan. She, like my brother and I, is bi-ethnic (Caucasian mother, Asian father). She has been raised entirely in Asia (for 14 years) up until last Summer when my family was transferred back to the US.
She is a US-citizen, yet feels like a complete foreigner even at an international school. Her best friends refer to her as ‘the Asian’ and pull at their eyes – not to poke fun at her, more so as terms of endearment. She does not like it. At all.
As I Skype-d with her one evening I tried to tell her that it really isn’t a bad thing to be called out like that, that her friends weren’t doing it to hurt her feelings, that I miss living in Asia just as she does, and that in time she will come to love living in the US, just as she had in every country she’s lived in so far.
Then I introduced her to the term Third Culture Kid. She had no idea what that was, but I know that in time she will come to understand what all TCKs share – a sense of belonging in the fact that we don’t belong anywhere, but everywhere at the same time.